The wildlife on the Galapagos is wild and varied, with many indigenous species. Even though this is the case it is strangely lacking land mammals due to the islands never being in contact with the mainland. But this is more than made up for by the diversity of reptiles and birds. The reptiles are extreme and exotic. Bird watching is a pure joy. Here are just a few examples of the wildlife on the Galapagos:


GALAPAGOS GREEN TURTLES are the most prolific and the only species of turtle to breed in the archipelago. They can easily be spotted around the islands.

MARINE IGUANAS common throughout the island with seven subspecies of varying sizes and colours They are the world’s only sea going lizard.

GECKOS, as well as the three introduced species there are six endemic species, which can be seen throughout the archipelago.

SNAKES the four endemic species of snake are all constrictors and all quite small.


THE GREAT FRIGATE BIRD stunning black bird with an immense wingspan and a greenish hue on its back. Males have an unmistakable red throat pouch, the larger of the two Frigates.

THE MAGNIFICENT FRIGATE BIRD the same more or less as the greater Frigate but has a purplish hue on its back and is slightly smaller.

THE WAVED ALBATROSS biggest bird to breed on the Galapagos with a two and a half foot wingspan. Apart from two pairs that are on Isla de la Plata, they only breed on Espanola.

THE FLIGHTLESS CORMORANT feeds within 100m of the shore swimming with its head and neck showing and its body submerged. (A must see of the islands).

THE GALAPAGOS HAWK nesting on most of the islands with only about 800 individual birds left.

THREE SPECIES OF BOOBIES the Blue Footed, the Red Footed and the Masked.

THE GALAPAGOS PENGUIN is not only the world’s smallest penguin; it is also the only penguin to breed entirely in the northern hemisphere. They are mainly found on Fernandina and Isabella, but can be seen elsewhere in the islands. They breed all year round as long as there is enough food and the temperature is cool enough.


WHALES AND DOLPHINS at least 24 species of whales and dolphins frequent the waters around the Galapagos. With sightings frequently made by passengers travelling between the islands. The most famous whale visitors are Orcas, the killer whale, and the Humpback. The bottlenose dolphins can regularly be observed playing in the crystal waters.


THE GALAPAGOS SEALION is the largest land animal in the islands. They can be seen through the archipelago on sandy beaches or out at sea.

THE GALAPAGOS FUR SEAL is the smaller of the two and can be found on more remote rocky coastlines usually next to deep water or out at sea.


RICE RATS are one of the two only species of land mammal endemic to the Galapagos.

THE GALAPAGOS BAT is the other endemic species.







CATTLE These animals, as well as many insects, especially fire ants, are all introduced to the islands and without exception they are a major problem. There are ongoing programmes to eradicate them some of which are seemingly working, only time will tell.